Book: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
POV: 1st person by Simon, present tense
Genre: YA contemporary, LGBT
Source: Physical copy
Release: April 7th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Favourite line: "It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don't fit that mold."
Rating: 5 STARS
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
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New. Favourite. Book!
I mean, come on guys. I've heard so much about this book, and still I was blown away. This was seriously a much-needed breath of fresh air!
This book is about the very amazing and hilarious Simon Spier. When a classmate accidentally sees Simon's email, he blackmails Simon, using Simon to try to get closer to Abby, one of Simon's best friends. But it's not just Simon who's at risk, but Simon's anonymous friend Blue, whom Simon is exchanging emails with...
Simon's narrative is funny and hilarious as he tries to figure out what to do. His thought process is all out there, making him both thoughtful and funny. Simon's family are also fantastic. They are super supportive, and they easily crack jokes with one another, and have so many awesome family traditions. It's very clear that everyone loves everyone in the Spier family, no matter sudden likes, dislikes, or sudden revelation of identity.
This book is realistic on all fronts. Harry Potter references, school drama, soccer teams, drama departments, even Tumblr. You also have a high school that claims they have a no-tolerance to bullying, but doesn't really know how to deal with sexual identity issues and sort of turns a blind eye. And like every school, you have absolute idiots sent on making people's lives a walking nightmare once things are out, people who don't really care, and people who are so supportive that they seriously deserve a prize.
Simon's hilarious attempts at trying to figure out Blue's identity was so cute. He would make all these deductions, even get really worked up and try dropping clues, only to realize he was wrong and blush and skirt away quickly. His reactions were adorable, and honestly, who wouldn't love his character? Same goes with Blue. Blue is so caring, so kind, so thoughtful. Even when he figures out Simon's identity (when they email, Simon goes under the name Jacques), he doesn't make that big of a deal, and continues to remain every so sweet and caring towards Simon. When bad stuff happens to Simon, Blue anonymously helps Simon out, trying to make him feel better, and that is so cute and kind. And when Blue reveals himself to Simon...I think I had a permanent smile plastered over my face for the rest of the book. It was that cute. Those two are adorable, and I don't think I've shipped anyone any harder than I have these two!
On a more serious note...This book isn't just about the difficulties of coming out. It's also about how people near you can react, and how different people may have different reactions. Both Blue and Simon face the daunting task of trying to find the most appropriate ways to come out to their families and friends, and the individual difficulties they face in those circumstances. They also talk their initial fears and anxieties over what will become of them, and about the aftermaths of such revelations.
Along these lines, one of the things that I particularly liked about this book was Leah's reaction to Simon. She had absolutely nothing against him, but she was hurt that Simon chose to tell another friend first instead of her. What bothered her was that Simon had only known this friend for six months, whereas Leah has been Simon's friend for six years. I completely sympathize with Leah, as it can hurt to know that your best friend doesn't trust you enough to tell you one of your biggest secrets. But on the flip side, Simon's explanation is perfectly valid. The closer a person is to you, the harder it is to tell them something huge. Their opinion matters a lot, and their judgement will affect you whether or not you want it to. That's why it's easier to tell someone not that close; it's easier to blow off their opinion, rather than trying to blow off someone important to you. So I get it, and I absolutely loved that this issue is addressed in the book. We need more of this stuff.
This is definitely one of my favourite books of 2015. It's one of those books that just makes you feel good, makes you believe in the world again. This is a really heart-warming book, and I loved it from beginning sentence to ending sentence. I definitely recommend this book. It's just adorable and fantastic and overall a fun and very touching read.